Thursday, January 11, 2018

Social Media Success In The Palm Of Your Hand

 Social Media Success In The Palm Of Your Hand Stock Photo
Social media the palm of your hand...and a whole lot more!

Social media success is the key concept behind this stock photo featuring a complex orb of light trails within which are a series of social media portraits and all of which are hovering over the palm of an outstretched hand. Indeed, this is social networking in the palm of your hand…literally!

Light Trails, Portraits And Conceptual Stock Photos
Social Media has become such a vital and important part of our lives that it has become a significant subject for illustrating via stock photography.  The needs are many and far-reaching in nature…from individuals using cell phones to highly conceptual stock photos such as this combination of light trails, a hand, and a series of portraits.

Mastery of Social Networking
In this image I wanted to convey a mastery of social media, more specifically, social networking. The light trails, captured by shooting city lights at night with a long exposure and camera movement, are a metaphor for networks, data transmission and connections. Putting a series of portraits of individuals within the complex net of light trails indicates that the network is a social network. And, as mentioned above, by having that composite “float” over a hand we are implying mastery and control of the networking experience…and adding the human element bring some worth to an otherwise high tech looking image.  I used a white background to make the image upbeat, a quick read, and open to cropping (and adding background) to a variety of ways with ample copy space.

Connections, Technology, and Big Data
This image has a chance to do well in terms of licensing, in part, because it can illustrate so many concepts. It can be about connections, community, big data, technology and the future. But it can also be an image illustrating a distributed workforce, digital assistants and global teamwork. The key to what direction the image points one to is in whatever headline and body copy is added by the art directors and graphic designers that use the image.

Multiple, Disparate Images

Will the image sell well? One can only hope…but I always hedge my bets by using the models for a given shoot for multiple, and usually disparate, images. Often I find myself using imagery of models shot up to twenty years ago! The models in this image were actually photographed over a period of seven years. The light trails were shot last year and the hand specifically for this image. Okay…off to create another stock shot!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Dog CATCHES car!

 Dogs catches car without exit strategy (stock photo)
A bulldog, jaws clamped firmly on a speeding car's bumper, realizes he has not exit strategy as he hurtles down the street.

Who hasn’t wondered what goes through a dog’s mind when he chases a car? What does he plan on doing if he catches it? There is a metaphor here…have an exit strategy! The bulldog in this image has his jaws firmly clamped on a car bumper as his body trails out behind the fast moving vehicle.

Funny Dog Stock Photos
I created this funny dog photo for use as a stock photo and possible greeting card use. Dogs, heck, pets in general, can be great subjects for stock photography because so many people naturally gravitate towards them. If you can create concept imagery from animals you have a paw up on the road to success!

Speed, Determination And Success
As I mentioned above, a great concept for this stock shot is having an exit strategy, but other concepts include speed, determination and even success. The image draws on our common experiences (seeing dogs chase cars) to create a sense of familiarity with the image…even though I am pretty sure none of us has ever actually seen a photo of a dog that has actually caught a car. Another thing this image has going for it is plenty of copy space for headlines and text. The image was also composed to allow for vertical or horizontal cropping from the square format.

“Aha” Moments And Endorphins
I have a theory that when people see an image and have that “aha” moment of understanding the concept, they get a shot of endorphins…and are much more likely to license the image (if they need it) or share it (if they don’t). All theory of course, but either way, fun to believe…and this is an image all about fun!

Animal Concept Stock
I photographed the young bulldog in my studio…and combined two images of him to get the desired body position. The road scene was shot near my studio in Marin County, California. The car was photographed separately in a parking lot (Jaguar XKS). The car was originally silver, but I felt a little color would help the image. Red seemed too dominant so I settled on blue. Voila…a unique and funny animal concept stock photo that hopefully will have plenty of “aha” moments.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Up To Your Ass In Alligators Stock Photo

At the end of your rope...over snapping crocodiles...a concept business stock photo.
At the end of your rope AND up to your ass in alligators...a stock photo for promoting products and service that can save your butt!

Ever felt you were at the end of your rope…or up to your ass (excuse the profanity) in alligators?  Well, even if you haven’t I am sure you have heard those idioms before. And idioms are fertile ground for stock photo ideas! Of course this alligator inspired image relies on crocodiles for the visuals…crocs I photographed at a crocodile farm in Thailand.

Crocodiles, Chickens And Bamboo Poles
After the Crocodile show I spent a few minutes shooting the fearsome creatures for my archives. On all my travels I am always trying to anticipate what I might need for some future stock photo project…and some subjects, such as crocodiles…well you KNOW those will come in handy some day! In addition to shooting the crocs lying around I grabbed some shots of them leaping out of the water to grab a chicken. At the “farm” they also would let you buy chicken carcasses secured to bamboo poles with string.  I had my partner, Stephanie, feed the crocs…they were amazingly quick I might ad, while I captured images.

Idioms, Crocodiles And Stock Photos
Fast forward a year later when I am mulling over idioms for stock ideas and shazam…two idiom’s in one! I hired a guy (if I did it over again I’d use a woman) to model. I hung a rope from the rafters of my studio, had him hoist himself up, and fired a few frames off. Then it was just a matter of selecting, silhouetting and pasting a few crocodiles and choosing a sky for the background.

Stock Photos Solving Problems
A great thing about this image is the multiple uses it has. It can be used to advertise or promote and product or service that can “save” someone and offer solutions to very dire problems. The image is particularly good for products and services that can’t be readily pictured…such as consulting services. Further, the image is fun and humorous…with a high entertainment value…and when there is so much competition for eyeballs…every little thing helps! 

Up To Your Ass In Alligators Stock Photo

In addition to the ability to illustrate multiple concepts, this “up to your ass in alligators” stock photo is easy to crop to square, vertical, or horizontal and has ample copy space for headlines and text. Of course, in these challenging times it would also be nice to have about thousand people to license the image!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Big Data Handshake Photograph

Two hands come together in a handshake amid the speed and chaos of streaming data in the form of colorful light trails.
Two hands symbolize connection in a world of Big Data and future technology in a stock photo.
The Need For Connection
I am always working at coming up with new images that show the idea of connections. Connections are the foundation of the new digital world we live in. Connections are what make our new, networked world work…and the need for powerful images that can show connections is constantly growing.

This image is one of connections in a networked world. The light trails indicate networks and streaming data. They also add a sense of motion and obviously provide the excitement of vivid colors.  The handshake has not yet happened providing a feeling of anticipation and adding further layers of meaning and concepts.

Long Exposures, Light Trails And A Near Handshake
I captured the light trails with long exposures of city lights at night. The handshake (or near handshake) I photographed in my studio.  I combined the hands and three different captures of light trails to complete the image. The image is a Rights Managed stock photo with Getty Images.

Bandwidth, Communications And Teamwork
A great thing about this image is that it can represent so many different concepts. It can show bandwidth, speed, communications, and future technology. In addition, the near handshake image can represent teamwork, unity and agreement and success. 

Produce To Earn

Of course, after being deeply involved in the world of stock photography for almost forty years one thing I can safely say is you never know if an image will be successful in stock.  Another thing I can safely say is if you don’t produce you won’t earn…so now I am off to produce another image!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Photo
Artificial Intelligence, creativity and ideas are all demonstrated in this stock photo of a human brain created from light trails manipulated in Photoshop.
Artificial intelligence seems to be in the news a lot these days making it a prime candidate as a topic for stock photography…and one I certainly didn’t want to ignore! Add to the concept mix “ideas” and “creativity” and I had to come up with some imagery…resulting in the above image of a human brain fashioned from light trails.

Long Exposure of Lights At Night
I began with long-exposures of city lights at night, with camera movement, and used Photoshop to combine and manipulate about a half dozen captures resulting in a colorful brain image with points of light…representing thoughts…punctuating the composition.

Futuristic and Scientific Light Trails
The use of light trails to create the brain lends a futuristic and scientific feel to the image…something particularly important if you are trying to communicate the idea of AI. I put the image on a black background which enhances the rich feel of the colors and provides a limitless boundary which can be expanded as desired to facilitate headlines, copy and other inset photos. It makes it easy for art directors and photo editors to crop the image to any format.

Innovation, Complexity and the Future
Among the concepts that can be portrayed, besides creativity, ideas and artificial intelligence are innovation, complexity, the future, and research. I am sure creatives will be able to come up with other applications as well.

A Rights Managed Image

While this image didn’t cost anything to make I do have about five hours of Photoshop time invested in it. One of the difficult choices I have to make with each of my stock images is whether to place it as an RM image, or an RF image. Because of the degree of difficulty in make this image and it’s unique nature, I decide to make this a Rights Managed image.

An Elephant In The Cloud Stock Photo

 Elephant in the Cloud
An elephant in the cloud is a perfect metaphor for presenting the challenges and dangers of cloud computing in a stock photo.

Microprocessor Flaws And Cloud Vulnerability
I read this morning that authorities have found two major flaws in pretty much every microprocessor that makes it possible for hackers to steal information…and the “cloud” is particularly vulnerable.  That knowledge is now the proverbial “elephant in the room”, though in this case it is the “elephant in the cloud”. Hmmm…sounds like an idea for a stock photo to me!

Obviously there must be a lot of “elephants in the room”…in the cloud…given that the cloud, online computing, is a relatively young development and one that is made up of so many parts. With that in mind I created my elephant in the cloud stock photo for companies to use to advertise their cloud-related products and services, and for use in editorials that deal with cloud issues.

Hackers And Cyber Criminals In The Cloud
A great stock photo can be used for a wide variety of messaging…and this image can be used to represent the challenges of Big Data in the cloud, all kinds of hackers and cyber criminals, and the potential loss of massive amounts of information. The image can point out bandwidth problems, vulnerable data, and over hype. The possibilities are practically endless! The image works even better if the cloud issues are BIG ones!

Elephants And Clouds
I photographed the elephant in Thailand, and the clouds from an airplane window on my way back home to California from Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Photoshop provided the magic elixir to combine the imagery. Having light clouds, which match the light on the elephant, with darker clouds in the background enhances the sense of depth to the image.

Vertical, Horizontal, and Copy Space
I made the image easy to crop to vertical or horizontal from its square format, and the clouds make it relatively easy to place headlines and body copy within the image. I always try and make an image as easy to use as possible for art directors, graphic designers and photo editors. Because the image isn’t an easy one to replicate I decided to go with a Right Managed category.

Now onto the next image!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Global Business Teamwork Stock Photo

 Global Teamwork Image
Global business, global teamwork, and a distributed work force are all concepts illustrated by this concept stock photo.

Global business is big business…even for small businesses. And global business is a growing category of business as well…so it makes perfect sense to create stock photos that address the “growing” need for all aspects of global business. It was with that in mind that I created this “Global Teamwork” (and more) stock photo.

I hired four models and had them join hands in my studio. I lay on my back and shot them from the low angle you see. For those interested in such details I used a combination of ProFoto and Speedotron strobes and my Canon 5D Mark IV. The background I shot them against was just the wooden ceiling of the studio. I might add that stock photos with multiple people generally have a higher intrinsic worth.

The World’s Continents
I stripped them out and combined them with a map of the World’s continents…and added in the white background…all in Photoshop. I chose a white background because it kept the image simple and upbeat. Trying to have the continents show up reasonably clearly, while minimizing visual confusion, also called for the white background.

Women...The Trend In Business
I used predominantly women because women are the hot trend in the stock world, and traditionally there is more call for women in stock photography over all. I used a diverse group from African American, to Hispanic, to Asian and Caucasian…both because a Global shot needs such diversity and because there is a huge need for diversity in stock photography.

Global Teamwork And More
I have pretty high hopes for this image, as an RF (Royalty Free…what a misnomer) image, because it fills a number of conceptual needs for those who use stock imagery. It speaks of Global Teamwork, a Distributed Workforce, Global Success, Connected Consumers, and Business Alliances. Heck, the image can also show social media ideas as well! I find the best performing stock images can successfully portray a number of different needed concepts.­

Best Selling Stock Photos
Will this global business stock photo be a best seller? Hard to say…only time will tell. But I am comfortable in my belief that this image will sell enough to have made it worth my time…I think….

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Mobile Connection and Networking Stock Photo

A Mobile Networking And Connections Stock Photo

Colored lines form a complex network spreading out from a cell phone in a stock photo about mobile connections, networking, and Big Data.

Given that mobile connections and networking are such a huge part of the growth of business throughout the world, I gave myself the assignment of creating a stock photo that businesses could use to draw attention to the products, services and issues surrounding mobile communications.

I have created many images using colored light trails, which I think are great for representing data transmission and handling, so naturally I turned to the of such imagery, captured through long exposures of city lights at night, as one of my primary elements.

A cell phone is the obvious mobile device of choice. Heck, I just found out that my own brother doesn't have fast Internet service at his house...and he spends hours on the Internet using his phone. Who knew! At any rate, I photographed the phone in profile to avoid having to disguise the make an model. This isn't really a shot about the phone...but rather about the CONNECTION.

Having the phone and the colored light trails against a dark background makes for a more beautiful image and makes the colors stand out all the more. A pure black background, however, does lack some interest. I chose a blue to black gradation because blue seems like the primary color of business.

I think there are several important factors that contribute to make this a successful stock image. First, it is eye-catching. We don't see images like this one every day. Secondly, there is room for cropping to horizontal or vertical...not a lot of room...but enough. Too, there is room for copy to be added or reversed out of the background. And finally, there are a number of concepts that can be illustrated with this one image. For example, it can be about Big Data collection and transmission...positive or  negative, from one's cell phone. It can be about wireless connections. The photo can be about networking, staying connected, access to information and the Internet. It can show bandwidth and speed. No doubt there are a host of other possibilities as well...depending on the creativity of the art director, graphic designer, or photo editor employing the image.

Of course, one thing I have learned in thirty years of shooting never knows which images will be the ones that sell...